Sunday morning after breakfast we began to clean up our camp. The launches were becoming infrequent and less spectacular. People were heading home by ones and twos. The port-a-johns were in a state where you started to inspect each one first looking for the least used option. We put in a serious effort to pick up every speck of trash and leave the playa in as pristine of a condition as possible. I didn’t see anyone take out a broom and dust pan, but we tried out best. We managed to fill four largish garden trash bags with trash. Mostly beer bottles, empty cans, and paper towels.
Packing the SUV and camper turned out to be another exercise in Tetris.
That is if the shapes of the Tetris blocks were ice chests, ammo cans, and tool boxes. I imagine the trailer weighed much less after we moved all the food and beer through stages into the port-a-johns. Elvis didn’t have to pack his rocket, and mine fit into a much smaller space.
After saying goodbye to our rocket buddies, some of which were still out on the range, we headed off to the bustling metropolis of Empire Nevada. Empire, home of the Empire General Store and Deli, it’s the only store with in 50 miles of Gerlach.
While Elvis gassed up for the trip (ju$t enough to get to Reno) I went inside and bought a Burning man T-shirt, a pack of cigars, bottle of water, and a Nestles Drumstick. Damn if three days in the desert doesn’t bring on an appetite for ice cream.
While munching on my Drumstick I said good bye to my brother and his son. I hope they had a good time, I know I did. They were a lot of fun to share my rocket geek side with.
The rest of the trip home was simply boring and tedious. The drive is just over a thousand miles but there is only a few hundred miles of scenery, and I slept through that. I fell asleep at the Bonneville Salt Flats and woke up in Wyoming, missed Utah all together. Bummer, Utah is usually the most interesting part of the trip.
We drove straight through stopping only for gas. We left at noon on Sunday and arrived at my house in Colorado on Monday morning at 6am. After un-packing and taking a LONG hot shower I took a three hour nap, was groggy the rest of the day.
It was all worth it in the end. I had fun, and most importantly I got away for a while. Sometimes it is just good to go out for a few days and do something wacky. I encourage everyone to do the same. No not go to Balls, but go someplace and do something unusual.
Oh and get a Drumstick for the road. It is the best ice cream creation on the planet.